only case of independent success in the entourage close to the
Emperor. Bernadotte, which one called Sergent Beautiful-Leg,
is the single marshal who crosses the Revolution and the Empire
to finish on a throne!
lawyer wire enrôle in the royal army in 1780. It is the
Revolution and the war with Austria which enable him to become
officer. Kléber names him sergeant general. In 1797, Bernadotte
leaves the Army of the Rhine to give his support for Bonaparte
After the peace of Campoformio, Bonaparte gives him a command
subordinate. The Directory entrusts to him a short mission of
ambassador in Vienna then appoints him Minister of the War from
July to September 1799. Bernadotte reorganizes the army, then
badly in point, but the Directors end up drawing aside him. His
antipathy for Bonaparte becomes manifest. He refuses to engage
frankly in the strike of State of the 18-Brumaire, which is worth
a reputation of néo-Jacobin to him. Become controlling
Army of the West, his name is mixed with the conspiracy with
«the pots with butter»(in which circulated of the
tickets anti-Bonapartists). Moreover, he marries Désirée
Clary, formerly been engaged to Bonaparte, now sister-in-law
He becomes marshal in 1804 and prince of Laying-Corvo two years
later, although there remains discrete in the great battles,
as in Austerlitz for example (December 2, 1805). At the time
of the double battle of Auerstadt and Iéna, October 14,
1806, Bernadotte, which has the role of supporting the body of
Davout to the catches with the large one of the Prussian army,
awaits the evening to move! Napoleon does not seem to hold rigour
of it to him.
On the other hand, when it is a question of continuing the remainders
of the Prussian army, he fits the boots of seven miles to traverse
all Prussia from the south in north. After having forced the
Prussians of Blücher to capitulate in open country, he treats
the officers of Swedish division made captive with Lübeck
with courtesy and respect. This behavior, specimen with the eyes
of the Diet of Stockholm, as well as the desire of Sweden to
approach France to counter Russia, has an unexpected consequence:
August 21, 1810, the States General of retro choose this
French marshal as hereditary prince of Sweden. Napoleon will
not oppose it, would be this only because one French marshal
on the throne of Gustave-Adolphe is one of the prettiest turns
played in England.
For the moment, he still fights under the commands of Napoleon.
It is during the campaign of Poland, in 1807, that he shows his
best control of the command. He folds up brilliant manner towards
the Russian armies of Benningsen, making it possible to Napoleon
to engage the maneuver of Eylau (February 8, 1807).
the other hand, his body takes part neither in this last battle,
nor with that of Friedland (June 14, 1807). Bernadotte is finally
relieved by the Emperor for control of the Saxon body of which
he has the command at the time of the battle of Wagram (July
5-6, 1809). His body does not manage to take the Prussian lines
and is folded up in rout at the time of the first day of the
battle (July 5). The following day, whereas the forces under
the command of Napoleon are victorious, he launches an eulogistic
proclamation to his troops, which had relaxed the day before.
Bernadotte, called near the Swedish throne, August 21, 1810,
cherished by Charles XIII, appears a true Swedish. He abjures
Catholicism and takes with care the businesses of his future
kingdom. The interests of his new fatherland run up against those
of France. If Bernadotte yields initially to the injunctions
of Napoleon and declares the war in England, he reconsiders his
decision since 1812 and signs an alliance with the tsar, Alexandre
1st. In 1813, Sweden enters in the coalition against France.
Bernadotte brings an army of 30 000 men and his knowledge of
the napoleonian tactics . His army beats Oudinot at Gross-Beeren
(August 23, 1813) and Ney at Dennewitz (September 6, 1813). In
Leipzig (October 16-19, 1813), he once again shows good maneuver,
but avoids directly crossing iron with his rival.
the time of the campaign of France, in 1814, Bernadotte controls
the Army of North. He invades his old fatherland while passing
by Holland and Belgium. Without being determining, his role was
very significant in the rout of the French Army. Some speak about
him like future king of France. It will not be the case, but
he obtains Norway, January 14, 1814, in reward of his services.
February 5, 1818, he succeeds Charles XIII, under the name of
Charles XIV, king of Sweden and of Norway. He is the ancestor
many monarchs who reign today still in Sweden in Norway, but
also in Luxembourg, in Belgium and in Denmark. Beautiful course
for the former republican sergeant Beautiful-Leg, which one says
that he carried on the chest Mort «tattooing to the kings»!
Text of Alexandra